Giving your little one their first taste of solid food is a big milestone. There are some signs they will show that let you know they’re ready, like biting their toys or showing interest in the foods you’re eating. When it’s time to make the transition from the bottle to solid foods, here are some quick tips to making this as easy as possible for the both of you.
The 4 Day Rule
You want to start simple and use the 4-day rule when giving your child new foods. The purpose of this rule is to be sure your baby is not allergic or reacts negatively to a specific food. This will give you peace of mind as a parent and make the transition easier for your baby as well.
What you need to do is continue giving your baby breast milk or formula as usual but begin to incorporate a new food every 4 days. Keep in mind that foods need to be single-ingredient and contain no added salt or sugar. These include baby carrots, bananas, sweet potatoes or broccoli.
Make Your Own Baby Food
After you introduce a variety of basics to your toddler, you can mix it up a bit by combining some of your baby’s favorite foods. For instance, using a baby food maker, you can mash up some apples and sweet potatoes or pears and spinach. This is also a great way to incorporate veggies into their diet.
The easiest option is to buy baby food in a jar. However, the healthier and more enjoyable option for your little one is to make it yourself. Some solids can be mashed like bananas, avocado, or sweet potatoes. This is a great way to give your baby organic, enjoyable meals.
Be Patient and Consistent
You want to develop a consistent routine when feeding your baby. Don’t be disappointed if the first few days they just want to stick their hands in the food or start throwing the bowl or plate onto the ground. This is a learning process for the both of you as you try to figure out what tastes they enjoy more than others, and you can prevent messy mealtimes with convenient feeding items like suction plates for toddlers.
If your baby is making faces and does not like the food they are being fed, don’t force them to eat it. Instead, give them the formula and try again the next day with a different food. Allow your baby to take their time. It usually takes a day or two for them to get in the swing of things.
There is not a whole lot of equipment that you need to start feeding your baby solids, but there are some tools that make this process easy. Be sure you have a rubber-tipped spoon and a bib. These two are a must to give them a comfortable eating experience.
How to Know When Your Baby Is Ready?
By the age of 4-6 months, a baby is usually ready to start eating solid foods. This transition from breastfeeding or formula is a big step forward, but you’ll notice when it’s time to make the switch. It’s at this age that your little one will stop pushing food out of their mouth with their tongue.
Instead, they will develop the ability to move solid food from the front to the back of the mouth. While age is the first major sign that your baby is ready for solid foods, consider these as well:
- They are able to hold their head in an upright position.
- They can sit with support.
- They are biting their hands/toys.
- They are interested in what you’re eating.
It’s important to remember that every baby shows their readiness for solid foods at different ages. Some need the bottle longer than others, and this is perfectly normal. Look for these signs of readiness behavior along with your best judgment when deciding if it’s time for your little one to make this switch.